Updated: May 10, 2020
We take an in depth look into Stone Island's history and use of reflective materials in this 3 part mini series.
Stone Island has a long and, some might say, chequered relationship with reflective materials. In Stone Island’s continuous strive to stay ahead of the times, reflective materials have played a hugely important role in the evolution of design within the brand.
Reflective materials were first used by Stone Island in 1983. They appeared as details on a range of Tela Stella jackets; the fabric on which the entire brand was built. The idea of reflective materials being used on garments in the fashion world was borrowed by Stone Island from safety clothing and workwear. At the time the use of this material was groundbreaking and put Stone Island as a brand on the map. Head designer Massimo Osti was obsessed with function and form, and reflectives fit the mould perfectly.
The first fully reflective jacket ever was released in 1992 as part of the Marina range; a side-line collection dating back to 1986. The jacket was created using a technique that involved spraying the fabric directly with a resin containing thousands of glass microspheres which reflect even the smallest amount of light. These jackets were created by Massimo Osti and famously worn by the crew of the sailing yacht Bologna which was sponsored by Stone Island in the “America 500” Transoceanic Regatta in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. Chosen for one reason; safety. Should any of the crew fall overboard they would be instantly noticeable for rescue due to the highly reflective properties of the material even in low light.
A year later, a range known as “No Season” was released. It featured fully reflective jackets in both hooded Spring/Summer silhouettes and Autumn/Winter collared designs with down liners, which attached using the dutch rope system. These were created using the same technique seen on the reflectives from the previous year. Available in five colours, the jackets quickly became popular among followers of the brand.
Stone Island had truly begun carving the future of reflective clothing in the fashion world. Check out part 2 in the series to find out how the brand developed the idea of reflective jackets into the new millennium.